National recreational property sales and listings have rebounded from a slow start caused by the late spring and cold winter experienced in many markets throughout the country. Across Canada the recreational property market is showing healthy activity that should lead to modest increases in sales and prices in most markets through the rest of the year.
While there are nuances and specific attractions that denote local markets, a number of broad national trends have also been observed.
Two groups of buyers are driving the majority of recreational properties sales in Canada. The rest is made up of families with younger children,who have built up equity in their primary residence and are using that money to purchase a vacation property. The second group is made up of near or recent retirees who have purchased a recreational property with a plan to use it as a primary residence and launching pad for travel down the road.
Canada’s hot residential real estate market in urban centres has had a spillover effect on recreational property sales. This is particularly true in markets within a two-hour drive of the country’s large urban centres, where price appreciation has allowed homeowners to use equity gains in their primary residence to purchase a second home for recreational use.
The way buyers are using their recreational properties is changing. While in the past, properties were largely used for weekend getaways and a week or two of summer vacationing, today many are purchasing a property from which they can work throughout the summer. This is being driven by advances in technology as well as longer daily commute times that many are eager to avoid. Furthermore, a majority now see their recreational property as a four-season vacation option, rather than just a summer retreat. Winter activities such as skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing, as well as cottage country hockey tournaments are all influencing this change.
CMHC INSURANCE CHANGES
While some potential recreational buyers may have been discouraged by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s recent decision to eliminate insurance on second mortgages, there is little to no material impact expected from this change. There are many options available for financing and insuring mortgages on a second property and an experienced RE/MAX agent can help buyers find the option that best meets their specific needs.
“More properties are hitting the market as the weather warms up, with activity forecast to peak in July and August this year.”
Demand for properties in the Haliburton area of the Muskokas has been strong since April, after a long cold winter kept many buyers at bay. More properties are hitting the market as the weather warms up, with activity forecast to peak in July and August this year.
Prices are expected to remain stable, as more owners take advantage of the active market to sell their cottages as needed. Entry level cottages in this region start at about $250,000 and can increase to more than $1 million.
Many buyers are young families looking for a place to spend the weekend in the great outdoors with their children. Some were first introduced to the area through friends who have purchased in the past, or while visiting for hockey tournaments or other events held in the local recreation centres throughout the year.
The small-town feel of the area, and its year- round activities, often lures buyers. For example, Haliburton is located just south of Algonquin Provincial Park, which includes more than a dozen hiking trails, lakes, as well as a Logging
Museum and Art Centre. There’s also the Haliburton School of the Arts, which showcases artists and draws visitors to the region.
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